As announced via a letter on Monday by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is currently on the docket to talk to a group of legislators from the House and Senate via an online address on Wednesday.
“As war rages on in Ukraine, it is with great respect and admiration for the Ukrainian people that we invite all Members of the House and Senate to attend a Virtual Address to the United States Congress delivered by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine on Wednesday, March 16th at 9:00 a.m,” Schumer and Pelosi stated in a letter to lawmakers on Monday.
The online address from Ukrainian President Zelensky will be viewed inside the Capitol Visitor Center located on Capitol Hill, reported the letter. Members of Congress will be the only people allowed to attend the event in person, but a live stream of the event is currently on the docket for everyone else.
“The Congress remains unwavering in our commitment to supporting Ukraine as they face Putin’s cruel and diabolical aggression, and to passing legislation to cripple and isolate the Russian economy as well as deliver humanitarian, security and economic assistance to Ukraine,” stated the letter.
“We look forward to the privilege of welcoming President Zelenskyy’s address to the House and Senate and to convey our support to the people of Ukraine as they bravely defend democracy,” continued the pair of congressional leaders.
Despite the large levels of financial aid being approved for Ukraine over the past few weeks, one particular sticking point is the approval of using U.S. fighter jets to create and maintain an air defense for Ukraine.
A large group of more than 40 Republican senators called on Biden in a letter this past Thursday to “act without delay” in approving the use of fighter jets to assist in the defense of the people of Ukraine.
Led by Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the letter in question included a majority of the Senate’s GOP members, even including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“While we commend the lethal aid that your Administration has sent to Ukraine thus far, we strongly disagree with your decision to delay and deny Poland the option to transfer fighter jets to Ukraine,” stated the senators.
“Your Administration champions the $1 billion in defense articles provided to Ukraine over the past 13 months and has definitively stated there are no restrictions in your current suite of authorities to adequately respond to Russia’s lawless and bloody invasion of Ukraine,” the continued.
“We implore you to direct your Department of Defense to facilitate the transfer of aircraft, air defense systems, and other capabilities by and through our NATO partners immediately,”
This event takes place in the wake of another virtual event that went out the almost 300 members of Congress earlier on this month.